12 Things to Make With Dandelion Flowers

12 Things to Make With Dandelion Flowers

Dandelions are the epitome of cheerful resilience. Though many people inexplicably find them ugly and try to destroy them with harmful herbicides, they’re sunny little drops of happiness that offer a multitude of health benefits and even potential treatment for several types of cancer. (Check out these studies on PubMed for more information.)

The flowers are especially treasured for their mild analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, making them an excellent addition to products designed for sore muscles or other external aches and pains. They’re also traditionally used in preparations to heal rough chapped skin.

In this post, we’re going to cover 12 pretty and practical ways that you can use dandelion flowers to make things that are good and useful for you and your family.

Note: Dandelions are generally safe for most people, but if you have active gallstones, are on diuretics, are pregnant, nursing or on medication, check with a health care provider before consuming internally. If you’re allergic to dandelions, don’t use these recipes.

dandelions infusing in oil

1. Dandelion Flower Infused Oil

Dandelion flower infused oil is often used in recipes designed to soothe and heal chapped or cracked skin. It’s also helpful for sore muscles and other aches and pains. Shelf life of strained infused oil is around 1 year.

If you don’t have dandelion flowers where you live, you can occasionally find some for sale on Etsy.

To make it, fill a canning jar about half-way with dried dandelion flowers. Cover with about twice as much as your favorite carrier oil, or to the top of the jar. (Suggested oils include sunflower, olive, sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, hemp and so forth.)

For a quick infusion: Set the uncovered jar down into a small saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Heat over a low burner for a few hours, keeping a close eye that the water doesn’t evaporate out. Remove from heat and strain. The quick infusion is the best way to infuse coconut oil.

For a slower, more traditional infusion: Cap the jar of dried dandelion flowers and oil and tuck away in a cabinet for around 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember to. When the infusing time has passed, strain.

For an alternative option: You could also set the jar of dandelion flowers and oil in a sunny windowsill for several days to a week to jump start the infusion. (Don’t store for long periods in sunlight though, as it tends to fade flowers and herbs over time.)

2 jars of dandelion salve on a bamboo cutting board with fresh dandelion flowers and leaves

2. Dandelion Flower Salve

Dandelion flower infused oil makes this salve extra soothing for:

  • sore muscles
  • achy & arthritic joints
  • rough, chapped skin

Dandelion salve is especially ideal for those who work outdoors and with their hands a lot!

Find out (HERE) how to make and use dandelion salve.

Dandelion Vinegar

3. Dandelion Vinegar

Dandelions are full of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron and and one of the best ways to extract those is via vinegar.

For this project, you’ll use fresh dandelion flowers mixed with leaves and stems.

To make: Gather fresh dandelion blossoms and leaves, rinse them well, and fill a jar quite full of them, but don’t pack too tightly. Pour apple cider vinegar over the fresh plant matter until the jar is filled. 

Cover the top of the jar with wax paper or plastic wrap and then a lid. (This added layer keeps the acidity of the vinegar from eating away at metal lids.)

Place the covered jar in a dark cabinet and store for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain and it’s ready to use!

Here are a few ideas for using dandelion vinegar:

  • dilute with equal parts water and use as a hair rinse
  • make an oxymel, or sweet & sour herbal syrup, with it (more about oxymels HERE)
  • dilute with water and dab on itchy bug bites
  • pour 1 cup of vinegar into a bath along with 1 cup of Epsom salts for achy tired muscles
  • make a homemade vinaigrette: Combine 3 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons dandelion vinegar, 1 tablespoon crumbled bacon, 1/2 tablespoon chopped onion, 1 teaspoon maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste. Shake together in a jar and let stand for twenty or thirty minutes so the flavors meld together. Shake again and pour over your salad. Yum! (Use white wine vinegar for a milder taste.)
glass canning jar filled with dandelion syrup on a rock with grassy background and dandelion petals scattered around

4. Traditional Scandinavian Dandelion Syrup

This delicious way to use dandelion flowers was sent to me by Tina, a lovely reader in Denmark!

She was kind enough to translate and share a few traditional Scandinavian foraging recipes with me, including this one for Dandelion Syrup that she makes each summer.

You can find her recipe for traditional Scandinavian dandelion syrup HERE.

bar of dandelion soap with a piece of twine wrapped around the middle and fresh dandelion leaves and a dandelion flower for decoration

5. Dandelion Soap

I made my first dandelion soap about 15 years ago, wondering what would happen if I put dandelion tea and dandelion oil in my favorite plain soap recipe. I was so happy with the results that I’ve made new variations almost every year since.

Dandelion soap is a perennial favorite among friends and family, and one of my top sellers from when I sold my soaps.

Here are a few of the dandelion soap recipes that I’ve published to date:

If you don’t want to make soap from scratch, you could also try this quick and easy Dandelion & Honey Melt & Pour Soap project that uses ready made soap base instead.

For more soap inspiration and recipes, check out my Natural Soap Making package!

jar filled with heart shaped dandelion lotion bars, text says "Dandelion Lotion Bars"

6. Dandelion Lotion Bars

I originally made these lotion bars for my husband. He was a rock mason and the mortar and rough stone left his hands dry, cracked, and bleeding.

Lotion bars have a long history of helping the toughest cases of cracked dry skin, while dandelion oil is particularly useful for alleviating the chapped skin and soreness that comes along with manual labor. This combination is excellent for his skin. He rubs the bar over his hands several times while watching TV each evening. There’s no messy salve to deal with and he can use it on the spots that are most bothering him.

You can find the recipe and directions to make these sweet little dandelion lotion bars HERE.

Jar of Dandelions for Tea on a wooden porch swing

7. Dandelion Tea

Dandelion tea can be made by packing fresh flowers and leaves into a mason jar and pouring simmering water over them. Let the tea infuse until it’s cool enough to drink then strain.

Dandelion tea is a classic spring herbal tonic. It helps purify and detox the blood and and is useful for helping the secondary symptoms of a sluggish system such as acne and constipation.

While dandelion tea can be helpful for some digestive issues, use caution if you have ulcers or chronic health issues and consult a medical professional before using.

Dosage for the tea is one to three cups per day, starting with a low amount and working your way up since it has laxative and diuretic properties your body may need to adjust to.

Dandelion tea can also be used in soap recipes (see #5 above.)

jar of dandelion magnesium lotion in grassy with fresh dandelion flowers in a turquoise bowl

8. Dandelion Magnesium Lotion

I originally designed this recipe for the first edition of my Big Book of Easy Homemade Products book.

It was an instant hit with everyone who tested it, relieving leg cramps, back aches, growing pains, restless leg syndrome and various related ailments. One relative with chronic nerve pain in her arm declared it the best thing I’d ever created!

Dandelion oil and magnesium oil are both wonderful ingredients on their own, but when combined, they have a special synergy that’s amazing!

You can find the full recipe on my site HERE (or in my book if you own a copy!)

jar of dandelions beside a closeup of a bottle of vodka for turning into tincture

9. Dandelion Tincture

Tinctures are one of the best ways to preserve the benefits of dandelions. While this form does contain alcohol, it’s so concentrated that the end dose is similar to the alcohol content of some cough syrups. The dosage is counted in drops instead of cups. If you don’t consume alcohol, use dandelion vinegar (see #3) for similar properties.

To make a tincture, dig up a dandelion plant – root, leaves, flower, stem… the whole thing! (Or if the root is too difficult to dig up, you can use the leaves, flowers, and stems.)

Rinse it well then chop it as finely as you can. Place the pieces in a mason jar (jar size depends on how much plant you’ve gathered up) then cover with an 80 proof or higher alcohol like vodka. It’s a good idea to keep a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper between the tincture and the lid, if it’s metallic. Cap and store in a cool dark place for 2 to 3 weeks before straining, making sure you shake the jar every so often.

While traditional herbalists recommend a dosage of up to 30 to 40 drops, three or four times per day, I dose my family in much smaller amounts, never more than 4 or 5 drops at a time. (Tinctures are powerful things!) Use this tincture to help with constipation or a sluggish liver that leads to poor digestion and acne.

jar of dandelion petals with a jar of honey and a few violet and pansy flowers

10. Dandelion Infused Honey

Raw honey is a healing food, all on its own. It’s soothing to the throat and GI tract, inhibits the growth of H. pylori (that nasty organism associated with ulcers), it can be used on the skin for acne, burns or diabetic ulcers, and daily use of raw, local honey may help seasonal allergies. 

The entire dandelion plant is edible and is a classic liver tonic. It’s traditionally used for joint pain, eczema and as a blood toner and mild diuretic. Dandelion root extract is even being researched for it’s cancer fighting abilities!

The flowers are high in vitamin C, beta carotene and other nutrients. 

We’re going to combine these two powerhouses and make a super charged honey!

To make this, you’ll need fresh dandelions and some raw honey. Remove the green from the dandelions so that you have just the yellow petals. (Some bits of green might remain, that’s okay.) Now, stuff these flowers into a small jar and slowly pour your raw honey over them. Stir with a knife to remove air bubbles. Let this sit in a cupboard for several days to allow the flowers to infuse into the honey. Once sufficient time has passed, you can strain the flowers from the honey by slightly heating the mixture (don’t go above 110 degrees F or the benefits of raw honey is negated) then straining through cheesecloth or a mesh strainer. Alternatively, you can do what I do and just leave the flowers in and spoon around them. You can actually eat the honeyed flowers by the spoonful too. I find them quite yummy!

The shelf life of this honey (strained) is at around a year (or longer), but if you don’t strain the flowers be sure to check for freshness each time before consuming. Take one to two tablespoons daily to possibly help with seasonal allergies and as a general health tonic. It’s also useful for sore throats, burns and as a face wash. Dandelion is safe for most people but is not recommended if you have active gallstones or are on a prescription diuretic. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend honey for children under the age of one.

Dandelion Cupcakes with Violas on Top

11. Dandelion Cupcakes

Pick a handful or two of dandelions then wash and dry them thoroughly. Pull off just the yellow petals (the green has a stronger bitter taste you don’t really want in a cupcake.)

Mix up your favorite cupcake recipe, stir in the yellow petals, then bake like normal.

Let cool, frost and add an edible flower or two on top for decoration. Some flower ideas for topping: pansies, violets, violas, dianthus, lilac, bachelor buttons, hollyhocks and roses.

All Natural Dandelion Bath Bombs Recipe

12. Dandelion Bath Bombs

These all natural bath bombs capture the sunshiny happiness of a field full of spring dandelions.

A few drops of sea buckthorn oil gives them a pretty yellow color, but you could also add a small amount of yellow Brazilian clay for a different shade of yellow.

The cheerful scent comes from a blend of litsea and orange (or lemon) essential oils, but you could change out the essential oils (lavender is another good option) or leave them unscented if you’d like.

Find the full recipe and how to make them HERE.

For more natural bath soak and bath bomb ideas, be sure to check out my Natural Bath Care Package!

If you enjoyed reading about 12 things you can make with dandelion flowers, let’s keep in touch!

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Looking for more creative ways to use flowers and herbs? Check out my Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home!

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Jan
 

Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Adena54 says:

    Love this article and as i suffer with Arthritis and very dry skin on my hands and fingers I will be having a go at the Dandelion Flower salve and also the soap. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sue says:

    Love all of your dandelion recipes! When I tell people that the dandelion is my favorite flower, they look at me and laugh, thinking I am joking. I am not! I especially want to try the lotion bars and the homemade dandelion soap. I make homemade soap, but have not tried dandelion soap.

  • Ruth Grimes says:

    I have always loved dandelions. I like all the ideas how to use them. The medicinal purposes are wonderful.
    I would like to know how o make the dandelions under glass.

  • Brookelyn says:

    I already make and LOVE magnesium lotion, so I’m definitely going to make some dandelion oil to mix with my lotion! Thanks for the great ideas!!

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  • Ellen says:

    I am so thrilled and excited I found your blog on how to make dandelion flower salve. Great timing too since I have 4 acres of this beautiful flowers. I will head out today after work and start picking. Can’t wait to try this on my arthritic toe. I’m a runner (short distances) and will apply it to my feet after a run. Thank you so much for the recipe and keep your recipes coming. I love love what you do for us!

  • Ana says:

    Hi Jan, I’ve been trying to make slow method infused dandelion olive oil with no success. It gets moldy in the jar ! Please help since I have access to dandelions only now and every time I try this happens. The flowers are not wet, but should I still dry them maybe first? Thank you!

    • Hi Ana! I definitely recommend completely drying the flowers first since pockets of moisture in the oil are the perfect place for bacteria and mold to grow. In the past, I only wilted the flowers overnight, but ran into the same problem with mold a few times. I think if you use totally dried flowers for your next batch, you’ll have much better luck with your oil. :)

  • Christine deichlrr says:

    How do i make the dandelion oil

  • Jennifer Allen says:

    I sell dried dandelions on Etsy for your recipes. Botanicallampshades.etsy.com

  • Diana Inkelaar says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, especially the recipe for the salve for arthritis pain.
    Do you think I could add St. John’s Wort Oil to this formula to kick up the pain remedy feature?
    Thank you!
    Diana

  • Trisha Rose says:

    Really enjoyed this article. A novice herbalist, life long plant professional, your article is a joyful entry into my materia medica, providing many wonderful ideas for my solar infused almond / dandelion oil. Excellent, clear, attractive presentation. Thank you. Looking forward to exploring other herbal allies with you.

  • How to Harvest and Dry Flowers & Herbs From Your Garden – The Nerdy Farm Wife says:

    […] Dandelion – The flowers are especially treasured for their mild analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, making them an excellent addition to products designed for sore muscles or other external aches and pains. They’re also traditionally used in preparations to heal rough chapped skin. For some project ideas, read 12 Things to Make With Dandelions. […]

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    […] 12 Things to Make with Dandelion Flowers […]

  • Debra says:

    Does the dried dandelion leaf give the same effect or does it need to be the flower?

  • Spring Flower Foot Scrub Bars says:

    […] 12 Things to Make with Dandelion Flowers […]

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  • Erwin says:

    “Dandelions are the epitome of cheerful resilience”

    I came online to do some research on Dandelions, because I tried the petals in a salad for the first time this week. I was surprised at the light, sweet, tea like taste, given the robustness of Dandelion greens. You really captured things with this statement! It’s going to stick with me! Thanks for sharing the thought and this post

  • cara jean says:

    Can you use the dandelion when it’s turned white or only yellow?
    What if it’s yellow but closed?
    Thank you!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Cara Jean! It’s best to pick the flowers when they’re open and yellow, or if they’re closed and in bud stage, you could throw some of them in there too. Sometimes they turn puffy when you dry them and that’s okay to use them, but you wouldn’t want to pick a puffy white one specifically to infuse in oil. Just save those to help reseed the area for more dandelions next year! :)

  • Terri R. says:

    In an old cookbook that came from my great grandmother is a recipe for dandelion wine, you have to pick 5 gallons of buds to make it and that takes too long for me to want to do.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Terri! What a lovely treasure to have a cookbook from your great grandmother! It definitely sounds labor intensive – that’s a lot of dandelions! :)

  • Tessa says:

    Wondering if you know how I could make this dandelion soap using beef fat? Wouldn’t have to be all beef fat, I just like using it to make soap and have a lot I need to use.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tessa! You could definitely make dandelion soap with rendered beef fat (tallow). One idea is to use a basic recipe (this one is from my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book) and just infuse the olive oil with dandelions (or herbs of your choice) and/or make a dandelion tea and chill for the lye solution:
      PALM-FREE SOAP #1: TALLOW/LARD VERSION
      8.75 oz (248 g) distilled water or liquid of choice
      3.9 oz (111 g) sodium hydroxide (lye)
      6.5 oz (184 g) coconut oil (23.2%)
      4 oz (113 g) lard or tallow (14.3%)
      12 oz (340 g) olive oil (42.9%)
      2 oz (57 g) castor oil (7.1%)
      3.5 oz (99 g) sunflower or sweet almond oil (12.5%)
      1.06 to 1.23 oz (30 to 35 g) essential oil of your choice (optional)

      Or, if you already have a favorite recipe that you like – just use dandelion infused oil and dandelion tea and you will create your own dandelion soap recipe! :)

  • Cherelle | The Inspired Prairie says:

    Hi Jan,

    First off, I want to say that I am super happy I found your blog. I subscribed right away and I can’t wait to try a bunch of your natural recipes.

    I went and picked dandelions to make the dandelion and whipped coconut oil lotion you have here on your blog, and when I put the dandelions outside to rest to get rid of the bugs, all the dandelions closed pretty tightly. I brought them in and they are drying now, but will I still be able to infuse the closed (ish) buds in oil, or will I need to go pick some more? Also, if I cannot use them, how do I keep the dandelions from closing?

    Thanks so much in advance!
    Cherelle from The Inspired Prairie

    • Jan says:

      Hi Cherelle! Thanks for subscribing! :) The dandelions will do that sometimes (and sometimes some will turn to fluff) – as long as they’re nice and dry when you infuse them, they should be fine to use no matter which stage they’re in! :)

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